VERIFIED REVIEWS KEY TO SUCCESSFUL ONLINE BUSINESS PROFILE
Considering the increasing shift in advertising from traditional media to online platforms and the fact that 90% of consumers claim online reviews influence their buying decisions, today’s businesses can greatly benefit from ensuring their online profile truly reflects the quality of their products and services.
SEIZE CONTROL OF YOUR REVIEWS
Get more reviews
Seizing control of your reviews is the first step to managing your online reputation successfully. “Businesses who don’t manage their reviews actively end up seeing their online reputation highjacked by online review sites with shady practices,” argues Mark Bakken of Big Web Machine.
Mark Bakken, Big Web machine
Brightlocal polled search engine optimization (SEO) agencies and consultants about their favorite methods to boost their clients’ online reviews. The results show an overwhelming preference (with 61%) for asking customers for reviews.
One way to do this, says digital strategist Robbie Richards, is to have “a section on your site dedicated to reviews, send emails soliciting reviews, ask customers at the point of checkout.” Ask for a review when customers thank you for a great meal or when an employee goes the extra mile to solve a problem, adds Thomas Ballantyne, Director of Marketing for Bulwark Exterminating, because you’ve developed a relationship with them.
Social media can also be a good place to collect reviews. “Local business mistakenly uses social media as a form of picture galleries, or as only advertising platforms,” says James Blews, an online presence consultant. Instead, it’s “an incredible opportunity to use a cost-effective platform, to reach a very focused audience, and grow those people into a very devoted community.”
That said, while having a Facebook page adds to your overall presence on the web, “the consumer knows it’s a controlled environment,” says Bakken, “it could benefit from being paired with third party verification.”
Get a handle on negative reviews
Negative reviews are inevitable so learning how to deal with them is just as important as collecting positive ones. According to a Dimensional Research survey, 86% of respondents say negative reviews have an impact on their purchase decisions so they matter.
Don’t delete negative comments or attack the reviewer, says Kent Lewis of Anvil Media. “Respond positively and with understanding and look at the comments as an opportunity to highlight your strengths.” Bakken agrees. An aggressive response “will bring negative attention to your business and you’ll be accused of being the type of business that attacks its customers,” he says.
The best way to deal with a negative review is to address the issue quickly. View it as an opportunity to examine your service and to make necessary adjustments. Remember when answering a specific reviewer that other people will read it so make sure to stay professional and positive.
Verification is key to success
Bakken argues it’s impossible to avoid negative reviews so stop trying. His solution is to focus on positive reviews, get them third party verified to give them credibility, then market and publicize them. “Get them on independent established consumer review sites and bundle them into a link to send to prospective clients early in the sales cycle,” he says.
Getting your reviews third party verified means someone independent will authenticate their source and validate their claims. Businesses can use the services of companies such as TruWeb Verified to ensure their reviews have been posted by “real people with actual experiences with the business or individual in the reviews.” Once checked, the reviews can be accompanied by the TruWeb Verified logo certifying their authenticity.
WHAT ABOUT SEARCH ENGINES?
Considering Google now claims a staggering 89.3% of the worldwide search engine market share, you might be thinking that being listed at the top or on the first page of a major search engine is like winning the lottery. After all those appearing at the top grab 42% of the traffic on Bing and more than 30% on Google.
But Bakken argues, “consumers are way past who is listed first on a search engine. They won’t make a purchasing decision until they see who has the best reviews.” This is supported by a survey conducted by search engine marketing firm McKremie that found 33% of people go as far as the third page when researching a company confirming the key to success includes more than attaining great heights on Google.
Every customer is a potential reviewer and businesses must manage and capitalize on this, especially considering the growing evidence that reviews are more important than a top listing on search engines or advertising. This is where third party verified reviews have tremendous impact. When consumers are ready to purchase a product or service, being able to trust the reviews about a business is key.
Article written by: Staff Writer
Source: Newsbagger News Wire